The alternate title to this series could be: “Looking for the Light at the end of the Tunnel”, but that just didn’t seem quite as catchy.
About a month ago, I received this email from a follower of our Facebook page, was instantly empathetic, intrigued and saw the possibility for something that we both thought could be very helpful: acknowledging that sometimes, it just ain’t easy.
“Hello! My name is Laura and my girlfriend and I just adopted our second pit bull. He’s got some great qualities and we love him, but he’s a quintessential “diamond in the rough” as far as training goes. It’s kind of like having a well-meaning caveman in our lives. We’re working diligently with him, and only a month later we’ve seen some marked improvement in key areas like loose leash walking, being calm in the house, waiting patiently for meals/treats, chewing on appropriate things… but we still have a long way to go! When I stop and remind myself how far he’s come in only a month it is very helpful. But some days (I’m sure anybody who’s dealt with a dog with a lot of training issues can empathize) it all feels daunting and exhausting. He starts his training classes this Saturday and I’m looking forward to that.
I’ve been LOVING your Dog Of The Week feature, and it got me to thinking: I know I would absolutely eat up a “success stories” feature where people could take us on a journey through their own “from rags to riches” training stories. I have not seen a lot of this on the internet and I have been looking. I know it would give me hope and motivation to read about other people who not only saw the light at the end of the training tunnel, but reached it!”
Laura also included a blog post that she had written, which literally made me laugh out loud. I could totally picture the situation and am quite sure some of you can relate quite well. Here’s an excerpt:
Asha: You could take me for a walk or we could play with toys. OR… tonight we could just snuggle and watch a movie film. It’s cold outside!
Laura: It is cold outside. You’ve got a good point. And you like snuggling, so it’s not like you’re being deprived if we don’t brave the winter weather.
Asha: I don’t even care that you’re getting fatter. It’s fine!
*Based on his energy level, I am guessing a conversation with Gomez would go more like this:
Gomez: You could take me for a walk or we could play with toys. OR… I could just repeatedly launch my 60 pound dog body across the room onto the couch over and over for the rest of the evening. Or if that won’t work for you, I’ll knock everything off your nightstand then occupy myself by vigorously chewing up those expensive wrist guards your doctor gave you for your carpal tunnel that you’re still paying off. Or I could push the stove around the kitchen floor with my giant noggin for a bit. You might want to disconnect the gas line first, but that’s your call. It’s cold outside!
Laura: It is cold outside. Um, let me get your leash.
Gomez: Probably a good call.
Over the next 6 or so weeks, we’ll track Gomez’s progress in his training class. Laura will share more of the ups and downs. Our hope is that those of you who have had or are having struggles with your dogs can relate, will share your stories and that we’ll all begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel and know that there are others who have been there, have made it through and will share their successes, as well.